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Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise nearly every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Director of Academic Advising to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester.

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NOTE: Course offerings change. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.

The list of classes marked Spring 2023 is incomplete and is being regularly updated.

JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law

JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

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Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law

Areas of Study & Practice

Clear all filters 34 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

202

Art Law 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam, option
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course will cover a number of intersections between the law and the people and institutions who constitute the world of the visual arts, including artists, museums, collectors, dealers, and auctioneers. The course will also cover non-legal material geared to shaping practices of art market participants, such as codes and guidelines adopted by art-museum associations, as well as some relevant literature from other academic disciplines. Specific topics will include: (1) contexts in which a legal institution must determine whether a particular object is a work of "art" or art of a particular type; (2) artists' rights, including statutory and non-statutory moral rights and resale rights; (3) problems of authenticity; (4) the legal rights and duties of auctioneers, art dealers, and other intermediaries; (5) the legal structure of art museums, including issues of internal management and governance; (6) stolen art, including objects looted during World War II; and (7) developments in law and industry practice relevant to "cultural heritage," the association of particular objects with particular places or societies.

Students will be required to participate in class discussions, and will have the option of writing a 25-30-page research paper OR taking a take-home exam. Paper topics must be approved by the instructor, who will be glad to make suggestions (some of which will involve local field research).

There are no prerequisites for the course. Although some background in intellectual property (copyright and trademark law) would be helpful, none is required. A set of readings will be distributed prior to the first meeting of the class. Before then, a complete updated syllabus will be posted.

231

Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Large, multi-jurisdictional law firms face complex issues of regulation and professionalism. Managing and solving those issues require keen analytical, litigation, and transactional drafting skills. This course will offer an opportunity to practice those skills while gaining a background in the law governing lawyers. Students will participate in a two-credit, experiential seminar that can be used for either ethics or experiential credit.

Students will gain a background in the ABA Model Rules (and state variants) by analyzing and resolving simulated ethical inquiries that might be received by the general counsel’s office of a large firm and presenting their proposed resolution in class. In addition, students working in teams will tackle a more complex, multi-issue inquiry that will require deeper research and a written memorandum that will be revised in response to feedback. The course will conclude with a transactional drafting exercise such as an engagement letter and fee agreement involving client intake issues.

238

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course examines in detail the "law of lawyering" relating to such issues as the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, and numerous other areas relating to the lawyer's role in American society. In addressing these issues, we will consider the extent to which the law governing lawyers derives from the concept of a learned profession, as well as the degree to which the ethics of lawyering may differ from personal ethics and morality. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions and rules, statutes, and administrative regulations.  Grading is based on a final examination, written work relating to casebook problems and reflections on current issues in legal ethics, and class participation.

 

288

Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course uses consumer bankruptcy as a lens to study the role of consumer credit in the U.S. economy and society. The class will focus on the key aspects of the consumer bankruptcy system, including who files bankruptcy, what causes bankruptcy, the consequences of bankruptcy, and the operation of the bankruptcy system. We will discuss each of these issues in the larger context of consumer debt and consumer law, and will also cover the foreclosure crisis, student loans, and issues related to debt, race, and gender. The readings will come from law and non-law sources, including the work of a variety of social scientists.

Due to substantive overlap in material for the coming semester, students may not concurrently enroll in Law 288: Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt and Law 586: Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law. However, if you've taken one of the courses in a previous semester and wish to take the other, that will be permitted.

319

Analytical Methods 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Lawyers face non-legal, analytical issues every day. Business lawyers need to understand a business in order to represent their client properly. Litigators need to judge the best route in adopting a litigation strategy. Family lawyers routinely need to value a business. Environmental lawyers need to understand economic externalities. Social lawyers need familiarity with financial instruments that have positive and negative attributes. Students taking this course will find it foundational in running a business, advising a business, or litigating business matters that go beyond the strict letter of the law. In this sense, this is not your standard doctrinal law school course. Rather, it is designed to give students the tools necessary to interact with the business community and run a company or firm.

The areas of focus include:

  • Decision Analysis, Games and Information: We will explore a standard technique that has been developed to organize thinking about decision-making problems and to solve them.
  • Accounting: Basic accounting concepts will be introduced, and the relationship between accounting information and economic reality will be examined.
  • Microeconomics: This unit presents basic economic concepts--the operation of competitive markets, imperfect competition, and market failures--that are necessary to this understanding.
  • Statistics and Artificial Intelligence: We will address the basic statistical methods, including regression analysis, as well as issues that commonly arise when statistics are used in the courtroom. We will also have a brief introduction to statistical learning, which forms the basis for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

This basic introductory survey course is aimed at students who have only a basic background in math (basic high school algebra) and may have majored in humanities and social science as an undergraduate.

323

Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

The course will focus on the process by which a corporate debtor reorganizes under the provisions of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Prior familiarity with bankruptcy principles and debtor-creditor law is not required. These will be incorporated in the course as it unfolds. Some familiarity with business organization is helpful but not necessary.

The subject will be covered primarily from three perspectives: the underlying business and economic dynamics that lead both to the debtor's financial crisis and to its potential to rehabilitate through a plan of reorganization; the supervision of a debtor by the bankruptcy court; and the reality that virtually all commercial transactions and financial contracting occur in the “shadow” of bankruptcy law and its potential to alter rights and obligations.

Topics to be covered include historical, Constitutional, and policy issues underlying Chapter 11's provisions and goals; overview of basic business structures and transactions bearing on Chapter 11 reorganization; alternatives to avoid Chapter 11; the powers and oversight role of the bankruptcy court and the obligations and governance of a corporate debtor when under the protection of the bankruptcy court; the major phases of a Chapter 11 case from initial filing to consummation of a plan of reorganization (e.g., formulation of a business plan and the plan of reorganization, claims procedures and classification, plan disclosure and voting, plan confirmation, discharge, and consummation); recovery and disposition of assets in Chapter 11, including asset sales, and avoidance remedies; and numerous special topics encountered in Chapter 11 practice.

 

336

A Practical Introduction to Mergers & Acquisitions 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation

This two-credit course will consider and analyze corporate mergers and acquisitions and the process of initiating and completing a corporate acquisition. Topics covered will include the structures commonly used in M&A transactions (and the factors affecting choice of deal structure); strategies employed by the acquiring party and the target firm in negotiating an acquisition and the differing roles played by the various parties involved in a transaction; the different types of agreements and other documents an attorney will encounter and negotiate over the course of a transaction; the critical role of information in M&A deals; conducting due diligence; the elements, structure and key terms of a typical acquisition agreement; the roles and responsibilities of management, Boards of Directors and shareholders in connection with transactions; securities laws affecting transactions; an introduction to private equity M&A; acquisition financing; and getting the transaction to closing.

360

International Taxation 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

This course covers the basic rules governing the U.S. income taxation of international business and investment transactions. After a brief explanation of basic American income tax concepts, the principal rules of taxation relating to income of American taxpayers that is earned abroad, and the income of foreign taxpayers that is earned in the U.S., will be described and discussed. The course will then focus on how the United States’ rules interact with taxation systems in other countries, exploring the concepts of source of income and residence of the taxpayer, and their role in the tax rules relating to international trade. The course will also include consideration of the role of bilateral tax treaties as a means of promoting crossborder investments and international trade through the avoidance of international double taxation. The OECD model treaty will be examined as an illustration of the interaction between double tax treaties and domestic regulations. The course will also describe and discuss the role of transfer pricing in tax avoidance efforts by business taxpayers, especially U.S. multinational corporations.  Finally, the course will explore recent developments in the international effort to reduce tax-base erosion and income shifting among taxing jurisdictions.

379

Partnership Taxation 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

The course will cover the tax implications of organizing and operating businesses as partnerships for tax purposes, investing in tax partnerships and acquisitions and dispositions of partnership interests. Partnership Tax is offered in fall semester only.

Partnership Tax is offered in fall semester only.

393

Trademark Law and Unfair Competition 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

This class offers an introduction to the law of trademark and unfair competition. Whether or not students intend to specialize in trademark law, a basic understanding of its rules will better enable them to advise clients who wish to protect their own marks, as well as those facing claims that they have infringed someone else’s mark. No technical background is needed. Trademarks include brand names and logos, and can also extend to other features that identify the source of a product for its consumers – including colors, packaging, and design – when they meet certain requirements. The course will begin with the requirements for obtaining trademark protection: distinctiveness, use in commerce, special rules for trade dress, and various bars to protection such as genericity and functionality. It will then cover confusion-based trademark infringement, secondary liability, anti-dilution, statutory and common law defenses, false advertising, and cybersquatting. Could a Utah theme park called “Evermore” stop Taylor Swift from calling her album “Evermore”? Did Lil Nas X’s Satan shoes infringe Nike’s trademarks? With the proliferation of craft brews, are we running out of brand names for beer, particularly pun-based “hoptions”? The course will address these and other pressing questions.

510

Legal Interviewing & Counseling 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course will provide students a framework for effective client interviewing and counseling, skills which are foundational to successful lawyering. While lawyers must master substantive and procedural law to gain the confidence of their clients, they must be able to exercise effective communication skills in “real time.”  Legal Interviewing and Counseling will help students learn to plan effective interviewing and counseling sessions, to identify and solve problems collaboratively with clients, and to further develop their abilities to effectively communicate difficult legal and factual information. This course seeks to further understanding of a broad range of communication skills, to facilitate client decision making and implementation of solutions, to manage the professional relationship, and to navigate common ethical issues that arise in the context of legal interviewing and counseling. Structured in-class simulation exercises will allow students to develop and practice these skills in real-world contexts . While each of these skills will be developed over the entirety of any lawyer's career, Legal Interviewing & Counseling aims to help students to jumpstart this development and to gain additional tools needed to ensure effective client relationships when they enter practice. Students will be evaluated on their participation in structured, in-class simulation exercises and discussions; video-taped skills exercises done outsides of class; guided self-assessments; guided reviews of other students' simulation exercises; and a final capstone simulation interview and counseling projects. Students will be required to attend class regularly and to participate consistently in all exercises. Students will be assessed on a C/NC basis. 

515

Contract Drafting for the Finance Lawyer 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Variable by section

Contract Drafting is an upper-level course that teaches basic practical skills in contract drafting through written drafting exercises. The exercises will be done both in and outside of class, and extensive peer and instructor editing will be used. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts, such as those that Duke Law students can expect to see and draft in practice. The course will be a combination of lecture and in-class drafting and editing exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, possibly supplemented with other outside reading. Some drafting exercises will be assigned to be done outside of class for subsequent in-class editing. Grading will be on the basis of these written drafting assignments, the quality of editing others' drafts, and class participation.

519

Contract Drafting 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Other

Contract Drafting is an upper-level simulation course that teaches basic practical skills by having students work “in role” as lawyers undertaking various drafting tasks in a series of exercises. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts. The course will feature lectures, class discussions, and in-class business issue-spotting and drafting exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, sometimes supplemented with other outside reading, including various sample contracts. Some exercises will be group projects, and regular peer feedback, along with feedback from the instructor, will be a feature. Grading will be on the basis of written drafting assignments, at least one graded peer-feedback assignment, and class participation.

Students who take Law 519 Contract Drafting may not take Law 522 Contract Drafting: The Next Generation.

530

Entertainment Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 23

Law 530 (“Introduction to Entertainment Law”) explores how principles of intellectual property, contract law, media law and labor law inform the practice of entertainment law, and provides a comprehensive, “nuts and bolts” introduction to working as an entertainment lawyer.  The course focuses on learning practical legal and business skills such as drafting and negotiating financing, development, production and distribution deals in the motion picture and television industry.  The final course grade will be based on (i) class attendance and participation (50%), (ii) drafting and negotiating assignments (25%), and (iii) a final project, which will include an in-class presentation and long-form drafting assignment (25%). 

531

In House Law Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation

This course explores the substantive and procedural aspects of inhouse law practice. Class sessions often include guest general counsels to survey in-house legal topics, engage with real world challenges, discuss current relevant events, and distill best practices for the role. Students will have team-based interdisciplinary project assignments that draw from topics discussed in the class, reflecting real-world scenarios and providing legal representation experience. Guest general counsels are typically leading practitioners who engage with the class from a variety of perspectives, ranging from Chief Legal Officers of Fortune 50 companies to general counsels who helped grow entrepreneurial startups into household names.

The course is designed for any student interested in inhouse practice – those who wish to work in a law firm or governmental role and interact with inhouse counsel, those who would like to practice inhouse, and those who are interested in exploring different career paths.  It is intended to provide law school students with an understanding of and practical skills for inhouse practice, legal issues unique to that role, and practical issues that face inhouse lawyers. 

20%: Reflection Message Board Posts
Each student will publish five brief message board posts during the semester reflecting upon insights or thoughts of interest from guest general counsel presentations.

30%: Memo
Student assume the role of attorney with an inhouse legal department and prepare a 5-page memo responding to a fact pattern and scenario; the memo provides an opportunity to demonstrate legal analysis and practical approaches to the issues.  They will also record and upload a five-minute presentation of their memo's findings to the "general counsel" of the company.

40%: Project
Halfway through the semester, students divide into teams of 4 persons. Each team will receive a fact pattern for a significant business-level-event problem which they will analyze and present their findings, legal analysis and recommendation to the CEO and board of directors for said company.

10%: Class Engagement

No prerequisites are necessary.

533

Government Enforcement and Global Corporate Compliance 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Students will learn about white collar criminal law principles, today’s climate of government enforcement against corporate wrongdoing and the important role that compliance programs can play in preventing, detecting and resolving those compliance issues.  The course will involve substantive lectures and classroom exercises.  The Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) will be utilized as the substantive basis to discuss the various principles and conduct the practice simulations. The FCPA will also help demonstrate the global nature of white collar and compliance and the legal issues multi-national corporations face. 

Students will engage in classroom exercises to develop skills frequently used in practice – analysis, drafting materials, preparing for and conducting interviews, and developing a work plan.  Students will learn to advise a client on dealing with a government enforcement action, conduct a global internal investigation, and build a corporate compliance program.  This learning combination of substantive lectures and doing simulation exercises regarding “real world” issues will provide students with practical skills in an area that is in high demand for lawyers.

549

Corporate Counseling and Communication 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

The goal of this class is for students to develop skills working with sophisticated clients on complex issues that lack easy answers and to simulate the practice of law in a way that a young associate is likely to experience it whether at a large law firm or in a small legal office. The primary focus is interviewing and counseling business clients and drafting client-related communications.

The first part of the class is split into five two-week segments. In the first week of each segment, the class will study a legal issue and prepare to interview the client. Then, one student interviews the client about a simulated scenario in a conference call as the rest of the class observes.  After the call, the class assesses the legal issues and strategies for responding. Students must then decide what advice to give.

In the second week of each segment, the class evaluates potential responses and prepares to advise the client. Another student counsels the client as the class observes. The focus of the class is on client communications, legal strategy, and developing professional skills, and students will gain exposure to the types of issues commonly faced by corporate counsel, including contract negotiations and potential claims.

Students will also practice working in a law office environment by sending emails to the professor that simulate reports to a supervising attorney and by submitting timesheets showing work they have completed. The final three weeks focus on a 15-page paper that will require independent research on a complex legal topic assigned by the professor. Through these exercises, students will learn to speak confidently with experienced business executives, collect information efficiently from busy professionals, and deliver practical, business-oriented legal advice orally and in writing.

550

Legal Issues of Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course will cover the dynamic and rapidly evolving legal field of cybersecurity and data breach response.  The course will focus on the workflow during the aftermath of any sort of data security incident, a rapidly growing legal practice area, where legal professionals have emerged as critical decision-makers. Every class will begin with a 15-20 minute discussion of current events.  The course will be broken up into two parts.   The first part of the course will cover the foundation of the legal aspects of data breach response, in the form of traditional discussion.  The second part of the course will involve a fictional fact pattern/simulation of a data security incident at a financial firm, with student teams conducting various tasks, with “real-life” outside legal experts playing various roles.  The tasks will include: intake; board briefing; law enforcement liaison; federal/state regulatory interphase; insurance company updates; and vendor/third party/employee briefings.

561

Tax Policy 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reaction Papers
  • Class participation

This two-credit seminar will feature presentations (eight in total) of works-in-progress on a wide range of tax policy topics, by leading tax academics from law schools around the country. Although this is a two-credit seminar, it is scheduled for three hours per week on the weeks in which it meets. The seminar will meet during only two-thirds (approximately) of the weeks of the semester. More precisely, the first meeting will be on Thursday, February 3, after which the seminar will meet regularly for the remainder of the semester. On the weeks during which we consider the works-in-progress, the seminar will meet twice: first (on Tuesday) to discuss the paper prior to the arrival of its author, and a second time (on Thursday) to discuss the paper with the author. In addition, there will be an initial meeting (February 3) not in connection with a particular paper, and a final meeting (on Tuesday, April 12) also not in connection with a particular paper. Students will write reaction papers (of approximately three double-spaced pages) for seven of the eight works-in-progress. (Each student can choose which week not to write a reaction paper.) Grades will be based on the reaction papers and on contributions to the seminar discussions.

571

Future of Contracts 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 23
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Practical exercises

Future of Contracts aims to expose students to current issues in the digital transformation of legal services—e.g. harnessing data, facilitating operations and project management with design and technology, applying artificial intelligence to key functions, etc.—in order to “future proof” their approaches to transactional law and contracts practice.

There is no question that a sea change is under way and that new technologies are key forces for change. Legal professionals are increasingly turning to accessible and impactful technologies that help them achieve better outcomes and offer higher value through data-driven analytics and insights, higher efficiency and productivity, and greater and more equitable access. Students interested in preparing for tomorrow should be exposed to this world as much as possible.

Because this world of digital legal transformation of transactional legal practice is wide, in Future of Contracts we’ll narrow our focus with three overlapping lenses: (1) a contracts lens, (2) an AI lens, and (3) an ethics lens.

(1) Contracts lens

While one could focus a future-focused law and technology class on litigation tools, e-Discovery, digital courts and online dispute resolution, etc., this class will focus on contracting practices.

(2) Artificial Intelligence (AI) lens

Even beyond a focus on contracts, we’ll dig especially deep on contracts and AI. AI can be used to increase efficiency in legal practice and access to legal services. Today’s law students—tomorrow’s lawyers—will almost certainly encounter AI in their law firms and other organizations. Students who leave law school with a firm grasp on not only how AI technologies can be used to increase efficiency and efficacy but also a good sense of its present limitations (which remain significant) will have a head start.

(3) Ethics lens

As we explore issues in transactional law, contract practice, and AI & contracts, we’ll focus expressly on ethical issues and challenges. Future of Contracts will explore how AI-facilitated contracting might raise issues of ethics and professional responsibility. We’ll also ask how the rules that guide legal services hinder or help technology’s potential to increase access to legal services. We’ll take these challenges seriously, asking how we can both protect the integrity of legal services and possibly make room for greater innovation and access to the law.

Work product for this course will involve:

(1) Engagement in a Modern Contracting Simulation based on real-world contracting scenarios. For example:

  • How does the legal function of Unilever respond and help inform the company’s strategic decision-making when Covid hits and suddenly makes force majeure clauses in 196,000 supply-chain contracts relevant and necessary to review?
  • How does Accel/KKR manage NDAs among the thousands of potential portfolio companies with which/from which it shares/receives information each year?
  • How does a small LLC doing web design work seek information and appropriate advice before entering into a master services agreement with a mid-sized tech company it hopes to serve?
  • Etc.

(2) Conducting a brief Company Evaluation by exploring a modern contracting tool, offering a detailed assessment of its function, possibilities, risks, etc. in terms of legal practice, organizational/operational needs, ethical risks, etc.

With guest experts and current materials, the focus of all deliverables will be on realistic experiences of being a transactional attorney today and tomorrow.

No textbook required.

573

Shaping Law and Policy: Advocacy and the Affordable Care Act 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
  • Class participation

This seminar will examine how legal advocacy shapes law and public policy at the federal level, with particular emphasis on the last decade+ of history under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will draw upon case histories of public interest litigation, administrative law advocacy, legislative development, and popular opinion strategies. Each weekly seminar will focus on one or two of the health policy issues addressed in the ACA, across its various stages of development and evolution. Topics will include the individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, state waivers, insurance exchanges, insurance coverage requirements, and insurer risk protections, as well as broader legal issues involving administrative rulemaking, constitutional rights, federalism, statutory history, standing, and severability, Our class will examine how attorneys and their allies can play either offense or defense, or even switch roles, as the later stages of policy debates shift. The ACA provides an organizing context for illustrating how Washington-oriented attorneys and related legal advocates operate, while offering a quick introduction to a host of contemporary issues in health law and policy. The seminar will provide a balanced representation of efforts by ACA defenders, opponents, and those in-between as they engaged in various regulatory and litigation activities to advance, negate, or alter the law’s original intentions. Study of the diverse and often-shifting legal problems encountered by a single industry, particularly one as important and complex as health care, may appeal to students generally interested in public policy and in law and economics, not just health care, as well as those interested in sharpening their skills in legal advocacy through involvement in litigation and administrative rulemaking. Relatively early selection of potential paper topics is advised.   

575

Securities Litigation and Enforcement in Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This two-credit experiential course will focus on the analytical, writing and presentation, and interview skills frequently used in practice while also introducing students to the general statutory and regulatory frameworks governing securities litigation and enforcement.  Litigating private securities claims and defending SEC enforcement actions are an important component of most sophisticated litigation practice; these actions have high stakes, and are almost inevitable for many corporate clients.  Writing assignments and presentations will be drawn from one hypothetical class action problem, and one hypothetical enforcement action problem.

576

Agency Law in a Changing Economy 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Agency law encompasses the legal consequences of consensual relationships in which one person (the “principal”) manifests assent that another person (the “agent”) shall, subject to the principal’s right of control, have power to affect the principal’s legal relations through the agent’s acts and on the principal’s behalf. As the principal’s representative, an agent owes fiduciary duties to the principal. Agency doctrine applies to a wide range of relationships in which one person has legally-consequential power to represent another, populating the category, “agent,” with a variety of exemplars: lawyers, brokers in securities and other markets, officers of corporations and other legal entities, talent and literary agents, auction houses, and more. Usually, agency relationships contemplate three distinct persons: agent, principal, and third parties with whom the agent interacts, with legal consequences for all three. Agency law also governs the relationship between a principal and its agents, including its employees. The pervasiveness of agency means that its implications remain relevant despite changes in business structures and economies more generally.  This seminar covers the legal doctrines that make agency a distinct subject with in the law, in particular those differentiating agency from general contract and tort law. It also covers a number of contemporary examples in which agency doctrine may—or may not—apply with significant consequences. These may include the status of Uber drivers and other actors who perform services via platforms; the duties of commodities brokers, including merchants in financial derivatives products; the consequences of imputing an agent’s knowledge to the principal; agency as a vehicle for the imposition of vicarious liability; and the consequences for the agent and third party when a principal is undisclosed, unidentified, or undetermined. 
The seminar will meet weekly with assigned readings. Each student will write a research paper on a topic to be chosen with the instructor’s consent and will make brief presentations to the seminar as work on the paper proceeds

577

Emerging Issues in Sports and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

The course will examine the regulation of NCAA athletics and the enforcement of NCAA rules. It will examine in detail several high profile NCAA cases including those involving Penn State, Miami and UNC-Chapel Hill.

581

Blockchain, Fintech Law and Policy. 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM required
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation
Updated: November 12, 2021

The Internet, the increased power of computing and new technology are driving the decentralization of all aspects of the global economy, including financial services. Today, we can surf the Internet, download apps, listen to music, shop, send money to friends and family, manage our financial accounts, and buy bitcoin – all from our smartphones.

For decades, banks had been one-stop shops for financial services. Financial technology firms (fintechs), leveraging the sharing of personal customer bank account data, have quickly emerged to unbundle aspects of financial services and rebundle them on platforms. The pace of platformization has picked up since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, yet financial laws and regulations have not kept pace. Data protection laws were passed in the 1970s long before the advent of fintech services and products, and customer liability protections do not fully extend to nonbank-provided mobile payment transactions.

Meanwhile, money is making a leap in evolution. From commodity-based currencies to fiat-based currencies that support commercial bank money and mobile payments, we now see an emergence in cryptocurrencies beginning with Bitcoin launched in 2009. Questions about whether central banks should issue their own form of digital currency became more pressing when Facebook announced its plans in 2020 to issue a digital currency: Libra. Now central banks around the world are exploring issuing central bank digital currencies or CBDCs. These developments raise important questions of how best to design CBDCs and what kinds of personal data can be collected on users transacting in CBDCs.

New technologies such as blockchain are driving further innovation in financial services. After the advent of native cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum with high price volatility, stablecoins were developed with the goal of being more “stable”. However, it is uncertain under US laws or regulations if these digital assets are commodities, securities, or currency. These blockchain technologies are driving decentralization of financial services, and perhaps the largest legal and policy question of all is how should decentralized finance, or DeFi, fits in our current framework of laws and regulations.

This course aims to provide you with an understanding of legal and policy issues raised by tech-driven financial innovation. You will learn about the critical legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments technologies, and financial account aggregators. In addition, you will learn how regulatory agencies in the U.S. are continually adjusting to the emergence of new financial technologies.

This course will be delivered online.  Students will be assessed on class participation and a 25-30 page research paper. This paper may not be used to satisfy the JD SRWP requirement without permission.  The paper will satisfy the LLM writing requirement.

586

Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Is bankruptcy broken?  For some years, many academics and practitioners have argued that the nation's business and consumer bankruptcy systems are outdated or otherwise not fit for their intended purpose.  The course will examine selected topics in bankruptcy law relating to this theme (but focusing most heavily on chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code).  Key reading materials will include recent major reports proposing reforms to bankruptcy law, as well as excerpts from the scholarship and leading judicial decisions.  We will consider questions including: what is bankruptcy for? Is it simply a procedural remedy for enforcing substantive rights that exist independent of the bankruptcy case, or an opportunity more fairly to redistribute assets (or losses)? Is bankruptcy special?  Should be Bankruptcy Code be read like any other statute, or do we need special principles for bankruptcy law, and broad equitable powers for bankruptcy courts, to encourage businesses and consumers to reorganize?  We will use case studies like the Purdue Pharma opioid-crisis bankruptcy to assess this.  In the final, consumer bankruptcy component of the course, we will grapple with the reality that most consumer reorganizations are unsuccessful and consider whether the current system strikes the appropriate balance between debtors’ rights and creditors’ protection. 

We will begin each topic by covering the relevant features of bankruptcy law, and you do not need to have taken a bankruptcy class to take this seminar. The objective of the seminar is to provide insight and into and allow for debate of bankruptcy theory and policy; in the process, we will consider the extent to which abstract theories of bankruptcy hold up in the real world, and the topics we cover will include issues of pressing interest to current bankruptcy practitioners. 

Students will be required to participate in class discussions. Students may complete either a series of reflection papers examining the reading materials and topics discussed, or one longer 25-30 page paper designed to satisfy the SRWP. 

Due to substantive overlap in material, students may not concurrently enroll in Law 288: Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt and Law 586: Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law. However, if you've taken one of the courses in a previous semester and wish to take the other, that will be permitted. 

590

Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Faced with myriad health, safety, environmental, security and financial risks, how should societies respond?  This course studies the regulation of a wide array of risks, such as disease, food, drugs, medical care, biotechnology, chemicals, automobiles, air travel, drinking water, air pollution, energy, climate change, finance, violence, terrorism, emerging technologies, and extreme catastrophic risks. (Students may propose to research other risks as well.)

Across these diverse contexts, the course focuses on how regulatory institutions deal with the challenges of risk assessment (technical expertise), risk perceptions (public concerns and values), priority-setting (which risks should be regulated most), risk management (including the debates over "precaution" versus benefit-cost analysis, and risk-risk tradeoffs such as countervailing harms and co-benefits), and ongoing evaluation and updating.  It examines the rules and institutions for risk regulation, including the roles of legislative, executive/administrative, and judicial functions; the challenge of fragmentation and integration; the roles of oversight bodies (such as judicial review by courts, and executive review by US OMB/OIRA and the EU RSB); and the potential for international regulatory cooperation.

The course examines these issues through a comparative approach to risk regulation in the United States, Europe, and beyond (especially those countries of interest to the students in the course each year).  It examines the divergence, convergence, and exchange of ideas across regulatory systems; the causes of these patterns; the consequences of regulatory choices; and how regulatory systems can learn to do better.

This is a research seminar, in which students discuss and debate in class, while developing their own research.  We may also have some guest speakers.  Students' responsibilities in this course include active participation in class discussions, and writing a substantial research paper.  Students’ papers may take several approaches, such as analyzing a specific risk regulation; comparing regulation across countries; analyzing proposals to improve the regulatory system; or other related topics.

This course is Law 590, cross-listed as Environ 733.01 and PubPol 891.01.  Graduate and professional students from outside the Law School should enroll via those Environ and PubPol course numbers, and may contact the Nicholas School registrar, Erika Lovelace, e.love@duke.edu, or the Sanford School registrar, Anita Lyon, anita.lyon@duke.edu, with any questions about enrollment.  (The Law School does not use “permission numbers.”)

738

Financial Law and Regulation: Practitioner's Perspective 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

Every aspect of financial law and regulation depends heavily on its daily practice.  The environment changes all the time, and the scope of regulatory discretion, at every level of government (state, federal and international) is so large that successful practitioners must understand the current trends in regulatory thinking and practice.  This course will allow students to dive deep into a different aspect of modern financial regulation every week by bringing in prominent alumni practitioners who are experts in specific areas of the field.

The course will be structured as follows:

  1. Six 4 hour components, focusing on specific aspects of financial practice according to the expertise of the teacher. Lee Reiners will hold an opening 2 hour class session.
  2. Taught by a series of expert practitioners, who will spend two days at the school. Classes will be held on Thursday and Friday.
  3. The course is a seminar based on a compilation of readings provided during the course.
  4. Students will be graded based upon class participation and six, 1,500-word, writing assignments pertaining to each of the six topics discussed by our guest lecturers.

Likely topics to be covered include:

  • Derivatives regulation
  • High frequency trading
  • FDIC resolution and the insurance fund
  • Volcker Rule and Regulation W
  • Bank capital requirements

 

Class will run from Feb 15th to April 5th and will consist of 13 class sessions that are 2 hours long. Seven class sessions will be on a Friday morning from 9-11am and 6 class sessions will be on Thursday afternoon from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

741

Climate Change and Financial Markets 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course will focus on one of the most important elements in combatting, adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change, namely the role of finance.  We will review the status of climate change science to gain an understanding of the challenge facing all of us.  Recognition and commitments by governments, including most particularly the United States, China, and Europe, will then be reviewed, before we consider the multiple linkages between finance and climate change, including the adverse impact of cryptocurrency.

Against this introduction the course will then delve into the various dimensions of financial markets and the players involved.  This is important to understand the broad ranging impact and opportunities for addressing climate change.  Once the markets and market participants are understood, the course will review the diverse roles of government agents and regulators, each of whom can have a far-reaching impact in shaping the markets and market behavior.  We will also assess the recognition of the challenge by financial market participants and their actual and potential responses to it.

A particularly thorny area is that of market analytics.  Many market operators claim to be “green,” but at this point the methods for determining the veracity of the claims remain very underdeveloped and often contradictory.  We will consider what has still to be done before we can really evaluate the “green” performance of firms and funds.  We will also face the real challenges that such firms face when trying to adapt.

The course will conclude with an assessment of the overall state of financial markets as one of the most important arenas in the struggle to meet the great challenges posed by climate change.

745

Trade Secrecy: Doctrine, Policy, Frontier Issues 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 23
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This seminar introduces trade secrecy doctrine and examines the most important policy contexts in which trade secrecy are arising today. No background knowledge is required. However, students must be prepared to be quick studies of various areas of technology and law. Of the various U.S. intellectual property regimes, trade secrecy is perhaps the most doctrinally elusive. Historically a common law tort that also borrowed from property and contract, trade secrecy has become codified in state, federal, and international regimes. The codification of trade secrecy doctrine has coincided with increasing recognition that it is often the most important mechanism by which firms protect returns on innovation and/or business investment. Notably, trade secrecy (and secrecy more generally) is becoming increasingly important not only for private firms, but also for national and regional innovation and security strategies. This seminar begins with an introduction to the trade secret doctrinal canon (including a discussion of how trade secrecy intersects with patent, copyright, and data exclusivity protection). It then discusses empirical evidence on uses of trade secrecy. Next, it considers various policy contexts, ranging from cybercrime and data regulation to employment and public administration. The seminar concludes by examining frontier technology areas in which trade secrecy plays a prominent role. These include machine learning and biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

754

IP Transactions 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are the currency of an innovation economy. Each of these forms of intellectual property may be bought and sold, licensed, or used as security. How each is used will depend on the business context; the needs of a start-up company being far different from those of a multinational corporation. This course will focus on intellectual property transactions in various business contexts, including: maximizing value and assessing risks; using intellectual property in financing start-ups; protecting trade secrets; employment issues related to intellectual property; intellectual property licensing; and intellectual property in mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy.

767

Advanced Legal Research 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course aims to prepare law students for research in practice and clerkships. The goal is to help students develop solid skills and knowledge to conduct cost-effective legal research in domestic, foreign, and international law. The primary focus of the class is on U.S. legal research, including advanced case and docket research, statutory research, regulatory research, and research on specialized topics such as legislative history, municipal law, court rules, litigation resources, and securities law. We will also cover basic resources and strategies for conducting international and foreign legal research. Grading is based on homework assignments, in-class exercises, and class participation.

773

Research Methods in Business Law 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This advanced legal research seminar will introduce students to specific sources and strategies for researching a variety of business law topics, such as corporations, securities, and commercial bankruptcy. We will cover key primary and secondary sources for business law research: state and federal cases, statutes, regulations, and other administrative materials; subject-specific secondary sources; company disclosure documents; and sources for factual company and industry research, among others. The course will emphasize research processes, strategies, and evaluation of sources in a changing information environment. Students will develop their research skills through a variety of hands-on exercises simulating research assignments in practice. Grades will be based on review questions, research exercises, class participation, and a take-home final exam.

778

Law & Entrepreneurship 2
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22

This perspectives course serves as an anchor for the LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship (LLMLE) program. In addition to giving students a theoretical framework through which to understand the relationship of entrepreneurship and law, the course will feature regular opportunities to learn directly from entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial lawyers.

Course Credits

Semester

JD Course of Study

JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law

JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

International LLM - 1 year

Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law

Areas of Study & Practice